Practical Alternatives to Self-Harm 101

Diane Clare

The APEX model is an evidence-based approach on how to respond effectively to those who are engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI).

This workshop provides delegates with an introductory 1-day to ASH 101 

Alternatives to Self-Harm (ASH) is based on the APEX model, which is an approach that has been demonstrated to lead to a reduction in self-harm risk for people with emotional dysregulation. It can increase confidence in clients to maintain more effective coping strategies, as well as progressing to other therapies as needed.

It is strongly influenced by Narrative Therapy, in that it takes a position of curious and respectful inquiry to the stories of those who consult with us (the mental health professional), developing a re-authoring approach to stories about their lives and the role self-harm has played. The program also includes some cognitive behavioural coping strategies, as well as some art therapy ideas where a less verbal approach has proved invaluable in being able to express feelings and tell stories in meaningful ways.

The ASH program also offers a collective approach, whereby support people and whanau (family) can be included, which is of particular importance within Maori and Pacific Island cultures.

Workshop ASH 101 will:

Provide a brief overview of a model that you can apply to your work with those who self-harm without suicidal intent. The workshop is for all front-line staff wanting a better understanding and to gain more confidence. It will explore how to be effectively responsive to these clients, and provide some tools to get you there. This day involves some interactive activity.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Find out what helps and what hinders in the attitude of staff when supporting a client to change self-harming behaviour.
  • Understand how self-harming ‘helps’ the client and is best understood before offering alternative (and safer) coping strategies. 
  • Discover how building an Emotional First Aid Kit with your clients must be matched to their needs, and not be a random Pick-N-Mix approach.
  • Grasp the X Factor: Know why a self-contract, not a contract with you/your service, is more likely to succeed and know how to do this.

FAQs

Q About Diane

BA, MA (Hons), Dip. Clin. Psych., AFBPS
Memberships: NZCCP, MNZAP, ISSTD
Accredited Practitioner in EMDR and is a member of the EMDRNZ Board.

Diane Clare is a registered clinical psychologist who trained at the University of Canterbury. Diane has worked in mental health and counselling services since 1981, first as a grief counsellor then as a psychotherapist, before becoming registered as a psychologist in 1993. She has worked in leadership and Director level roles across a range of services in both NZ and the UK including primary care, adult mental health, forensic, intellectual disability and tertiary student services.

While in the UK in 2005 she developed the Alternatives to Self-Harm programme and has presented her work internationally since 2012. Diane is a seasoned presenter and provides a range of workshop options with an emphasis on practical solutions for clinical staff. She has a specialist interest in working with people recovering from the effects of complex trauma.

Q Feedback from professionals attending ASH 101

'Thank you Diane, you bring a wealth of knowledge and the human touch to what you do - I want more!'

'I cannot thank you enough for this inspirational and oh so practical training.'

'Excellent presenter, clear, confident, passionate, knowledgeable. Good handouts and additional reading....always appreciate that, understanding the research behind something.'

'The way Diane presented was open, honest and real. She delivered in a way that I was left looking at myself, and how I could change my attitude to best support those students who have been experiencing self harm, as well as giving me new skills to try and help.'

Q Who Should Attend ASH 101

These workshops will appeal to anyone working with young people or adults on a regular basis including youth workers, case workers, community mental health nurses, teachers, school counsellors, school leaders, corrections & youth justice counsellors, social workers and counsellors.

In addition, frontline staff who regularly interact with these groups on a day-to-day basis and need to have some practical tools and insights to brief interventions that will allow them to support the person who is currently self-harming.